Bangor neighborhoods are being asked to come up with a plan to revitalize the city, which will then battle against one another to find a winner. Credit: Micky Bedell

Bangor residents think they’ve found some ways to make the city a more attractive place in which to work, live and play.

Since April, about 100 people from around the city have worked together in teams — divided by Bangor’s five elementary school districts — to brainstorm ideas for what they think could put Bangor back on the map as part of the Innovative Neighborhoods competition. Each team developed two ideas: one about improving the city as a whole and one about improving their own neighborhood. The BDN is a media partner for the contest.

[Bangor has designed a contest to make it the best small city in the U.S.]

“The citizen drivenness of this is a big part of it. It’s a grass-roots effort, not a top-down initiative,” Bangor Savings Bank Senior Vice President Scott Blake said. “We are trying to tap into the friendly existing neighborhood competition that Bangor has.”

Now, the teams have unveiled their ideas, and the sponsors behind Innovative Neighborhoods — including Greendrinks and Bangor Savings Bank — are asking for Bangor residents to weigh in on what plans they like best. The neighborhood teams with the best ideas in each of the two categories, as deemed by residents via the online vote, win.

Read about each of the ideas below, and cast your vote for your favorite Citywide proposal here, and your favorite Neighborhood proposal here. The winner will be announced on Nov. 28.

Have an idea for a proposal of your own? Sign up to be contacted for the 2018 Innovative Neighborhood competition and put your ideas forth.

Citywide Proposals

Sean T. Mansfield Stadium, the Heart of Bangor for All Seasons
Submitted by the Fruit Street Neighborhood Team
Summary: Mansfield Stadium become a four-season facility offering residents and visitors a variety of dynamic family recreation, culture, arts, and athletic activities throughout the year in addition to its regular schedule of baseball games and tournaments. (Read the full proposal here.)

Bangor, Get Connected to Faster, Cheaper Internet
Submitted by the Vine St. Trail Blazers Neighborhood Team
Summary: Create a Private/Public Partnership (PPP) between the City of Bangor and an internet service provider (ISP) that will bring high speed internet to the City for the purpose of stimulating new businesses, fostering the growth of existing businesses and providing an alternative carrier for residents to purchase high speed internet. (Read the full proposal here.)

So Easy You Won’t Even Get Your Hands Dirty
Submitted by the Abraham Lincoln Neighborhood Team
Summary: Using Exeter Agri-energy’s anaerobic digestion process, divert organic waste such as food scraps, fats, oils and grease that are currently being deposited into the landfill and/or burned into either biogas, solid waste or a liquid byproduct. (Read the full proposal here.)

First Friday Fest
Submitted by the Downeast Neighborhood Team
Summary: The goal of First Friday Fest is to bring people together, on the first Friday of each month, with activities such as art displays, street performers, food trucks, sales, restaurant specials, children’s activities, and free transportation. (Read the full proposal here.)

Exercise and Socialize: Connecting the Generations
Submitted by the Fairmont Neighborhood Team
Summary: To create a multi-generational recreation space and community center to promote community health and fitness, connectedness, and economic growth. (Read the full proposal here.)

Vote for your favorite Citywide proposal here!

Neighborhood-focused Proposals

The Bangor Greenway: Connecting Bangor from the Penobscot to the Penjajawoc
Submitted by the Fruit Street Neighborhood Team
Summary: The creation of a Bangor Greenway to connect almost the entire east side of Bangor from Eastern Maine Medical Center to the Bangor Mall via a 3-mile-long, scenic, shared-use bicycle/pedestrian pathway. (Read the full proposal here.)

Buck St. Corridor Makeover
Submitted by the Vine St. Trail Blazers Neighborhood Team
Summary: Add a sidewalk and bike lane along Buck Street to connect Main Street and Webster Avenue. The proposal also includes the addition of a new outdoor farmers market utilizing the popularity of the Saturday morning European Farmers Market at 117 Buck St. (Read the full proposal here.)

Engage Visitors and Residents Using a Mobile App Platform
Submitted by the Abraham Lincoln Neighborhood Team
Summary: Partner with the Bangor Historical Society, local businesses, community groups and colleges/universities to develop an app that can be used on mobile devices. The app would be designed to be used as a walking tour in our neighborhood but would be compatible with any form of transportation. (Read the full proposal here.)

All Inclusive Park
Submitted by the Downeast Neighborhood Team
Summary: Of all the defined innovative neighborhoods, Downeast is the only one that fails to include a public playground. According to schooldigger.com the Downeast neighborhood has more PreK-3 children than any of the other innovative neighborhoods and the children are far more likely to come from impoverished homes. This neighborhood needs a place for children from smallest to the largest to have productive play. (Read the full proposal here.)

Porchfest: Bringing Culture and Community Home
Submitted by the Fairmont Neighborhood Team
Summary: To establish an annual “Porchfest” event in the Fairmount neighborhood area bringing together music, art, and community in an intimate venue that is accessible and open to the public. (Read the full proposal here.)

Vote for your favorite Neighborhood-focused proposal here!

Residents from Bangor’s 21 communities (Bangor, Bradley, Brewer, Carmel, Dedham, Eddington, Glenburn, Hampden, Hermon, Holden, Hudson, Kenduskeag, Levant, Milford, Newburgh, Old Town, Orono, Orrington, Penobscot Nation, Veazie and Winterport) are encouraged to cast their vote online.

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